Knowledge of Breast Cancer and the Practice of Breast Self-Examination in Saudi Women: An Online Survey


  • King Abdulaziz University, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Rabigh, 21911, Saudi Arabia
  • King Abdulaziz University, Department of Food and Nutrition, Faculty of Human Sciences and Design, Jeddah, 21589, Saudi Arabia
  • King Abdulaziz University, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jeddah, 21589, Saudi Arabia
  • King Abdulaziz University, English Language Institute, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Jeddah, 21589, Saudi Arabia
  • King Abdulaziz University, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Jeddah, 21589, Saudi Arabia
  • Batterjee Medical College, Preparatory Year Program, Jeddah, 21442, Saudi Arabia


Breast cancer is a cancer that spreads all over the world, including Saudi Arabia. Early detection requires awareness and knowledge of possible warning signs and effective methods of examination. The study aimed to evaluate the breast cancer knowledge (risk factors, causes, prevention and treatment) and to assess the Breast Self-Examination (BSE) among women in Saudi Arabia, so as to explore possible correlation between education and knowledge and practice of breast cancer. A total of 697 Saudi women, their ages between 18 and 65 years, their education levels ranged from primary to graduate levels. A custom designed survey was distributed online to assess the knowledge of breast cancer across many domains, the practice of BSE and women’s psychology towards this disease. The study period was from September to December 2019. Almost half of the participants had an overall moderate knowledge level (48.7 ± 17.2%) toward breast cancer. As the education level of the participants increased, knowledge also increased at P<0.0001. Knowledge score correlated with education (r2 = 0.27, P<0.0001). Knowledge scores across risk factors ranged between (10.1 - 69.3%) while knowledge levels across the other tested domains (causes, spreading, BSE, prevention and treatment) varied between (9.1 - 95.4%). The studied women also showed a moderate level of BSE practice (58.0 ± 29.9%) and significantly associated with education (P<0.05). The breast cancer knowledge of the participants was found to be moderate among women in Saudi Arabia and was higher with the increasing level of tertiary education. Since few women in this study (11.9%) had goodbreast cancer knowledge, there is a need to introduce breast cancer education in focusing on less educated women.


Breast Cancer, Breast Self-Examination, Knowledge, Practice, Retrospective Cohort Study

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